Navigation Links
SLU virologists harness adenovirus to kill breast cancer cells

ST. LOUIS With a $40,250 grant from the Lottie Caroline Hardy Charitable Trust Fund, researchers at Saint Louis University's Institute for Molecular Virology will study a small fragment of adenovirus as a possible future therapy for HER2 breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. Despite major advances, it is still the leading cause of death from cancer in women. The HER2 oncogene is implicated in 20 to 30 percent of breast cancers and has a poor prognosis. Current therapy for HER2 cancers (Herceptin and chemotherapy) is not enough to combat this deadly cancer and cannot treat a substantial number of cases.

The adenovirus is a common virus, and researcher Maurice Green, Ph.D., chair of SLU's Institute for Molecular Virology, has studied it for years. He hopes to tame the virus's abilities to kill cancer cells in order to use it as a therapy.

"It's been an ambition of mine for a long time," Green said. "Long ago, I was stationed in the Philippines, and I had nothing to do but read about medicine and that's where my interest started."

Dedicating his career to the study of virology, Green was a pioneer in using viruses to probe the functions of normal cells and to understand how cancer works on the molecular level. Green chose the adenovirus as a focus of study and he and his lab developed the first working model of the virus.

Now, Green and colleague Paul Loewenstein, assistant research professor in the department, have found that a small region of the E1A protein, an adenovirus gene, is capable of repressing HER2 cell growth.

Significantly, this function appears to be controlled by the first 80 amino acids (E1A 1-80) of the entire E1A oncogene.

This is a promising finding, because it means that researchers can focus on this small region of the adenovirus without delving into the rest of the E1A oncogene, which has other functions.

Remarkably, the expression of these 80 amino acids efficiently represses HER2 transcription and kills breast cancer cells but not normal cells.

"This is probably due to the need of the tumor cells for continued overexpression of the HER2 oncogene for growth and survival. This phenomenon has been termed 'oncogene addiction,'" Green said.

One of the exciting possibilities of E1A 1-80 is that it seems to be effective against cancer cells over-expressing other HER family members, besides HER2. Potentially, E1A 1-80 could be used against tumors of the prostate, ovaries, colon, and head and neck, as well as breast cancer.

With this grant, Green and Loewenstein want to develop a strong E1A 1-80 HER2 repressor that may someday be added to Herceptin therapy. Their work will include animal model studies to further demonstrate the potential of E1A 1-80 as a therapy.

And, Green sees particular promise in this gene therapy because it seems to kill not only tumor cells, but targets their origins, as well.


Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer
Saint Louis University

Related medicine news :

1. Virus detector harnesses ring of light in whispering gallery mode
2. Revolutionary techniques could help harness patients own immune cells to fight disease
3. MU scientists build harness for powerful radiation cancer therapy
4. Solatube International Celebrates Earth Day 2013 by Harnessing the Sun’s Rays with Daylighting
5. New Survey Findings: Application Intelligence and Connected Devices - How do you Harness the Value?
6. Total Knee Replacement Surgeons at Bethesda Health Offer New Technology that Harnesses Intelligent Orthopaedic Surgery Using The VERASENSE Knee System
7. Secrets to Success
8. “Harness The Hidden Laws Of The Universe” Helps People Create the Life of Their Dreams – V kool
9. Penn Medicine researchers harness the immune system to fight pancreatic cancer
10. UNC researchers harness suns energy during day for use at night
11. Recombinant adenovirus-mediated 3β-hydroxysteroid-Δ24 reductase inhibits neural apoptosis
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
SLU virologists harness adenovirus to kill breast cancer cells
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in ... that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to ... dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men ... prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown ... helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients ... central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that ... viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... workshops to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection in ... collaboration with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes ... titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- --> --> ... potential to save costs, improve treatment quality and accelerate ... exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is placed on ... tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... -->      (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... the author the present scenario and growth prospects of ... the market size, the report considers revenue generated from ... and copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Un nuevo enfoque ... para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   ... inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el ... . --> Clinical Cancer Research . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: